Following is the text of a prepared statement councillor Ralph Cipolla made to council a Monday night. The integrity commissioner investigated a complaint by an Orillia by-law officer relating to a ticket. The recommendation was for Cippola to forfeit 5 days pay, which council unanimously ratified.
My name is Ralph Cipolla and I am a Councillor for ward 2. As many of you are aware I have been investigated by the integrity commission on the grounds of intimidating a by-law officer.
I want to first apologize to the by-law officer, all city staff, Orillians and my distinguished colleagues on city council who give their service to this community.
Upon reflection, I understand my actions may be perceived as inappropriate according to the Orillia Code of Conduct. I should have followed the process and I am sorry.
I take any breach of the code of conduct seriously and I should have known better.
As a Councillor, I genuinely felt I was only acting in the best interest of a citizen, a constituent who needed assistance, as I fell I have been doing for the better part of 50 years.
My intention was not to intimidate anyone. There was no intent to bring any discomfort to this individual and if that is the way it was perceived, I humbly apologize.
Where I thought I was passionately advocating for a member of the community, considering my position on city council I can now understand how this was interpreted as intimidation. I fully understand that by-law officers are also an important part of our community and I have a deep appreciation for the difficult work they do daily.
My hope is that I won’t be judged based on this incident, but the decades and decades of strong character and work I have done in this community. Thank you all for your time and I look forward to continuing my life of service to this community.
“And I want to especially thank the integrity commissioner for the professionalism they showed,” Cipolla added to his prepared statement.